Sept. 8, 2016

Sept. 8, 2016 Minutes
Submitted by Tommy Fulton, Contributing Editor
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Les Greer. Father Gregory F. Lucey gave the invocation, followed by Gordon Korb, who led us in song, accompanied by Bill Oppenheimer at the piano. Tom Martenstein introduced our guests along with visiting Rotarians.
New Members: Rick Harvey introduced Russell Schmitz as a new member.
Announcements: There is a board meeting next week, Sept. 15th. New member orientation will be October 11th.
Program: Rick Harvey introduced our speaker, Dr. Christopher Puto, President of Springhill College.
Dr. Puto began by mentioning how proud Mobilians should be to have three great universities in our area, University of South Alabama, University of Mobile and Springhill College. With respect to Springhill, he mentioned that they have 395 freshmen and 43 transfers this fall. That includes students from 26 states and 8 foreign countries. Springhill was founded in 1830 and has been in Mobile for 186 years.
Dr. Puto described the Strategic Planning Process underway at Springhill, which engaged every element of the campus. There are 50 planning units involved in the process, which led to 10 Key Strategic Goals. He also informed us that there are 28 Jesuit colleges in the United States, of which Springhill is the 3rd oldest. He also emphasized the fact that Springhill is the only one who offers “no frostbite.”
The planning process focuses on the 4 Pillars of Faith, Learning, Justice and Service. The result of the Plan is 130 Tactical/Operational Goals, all of which are tracked through software, which will help inform staff and supporters of the College. Perhaps one of the most interesting new focus is “Vocation and Discernment – Pathways to Purpose. This program helps students discern how they will affect the world into which they graduate.
Dr. Puto then described a very successful process, with support of alumni, which substantially reduced short-term debt. As of March, they had commitments to reduce a $27 million debt to zero.
Springhill’s dedication to service is evident in the fact that the 1,200 students enrolled have contributed 25,000 hours of service to the Mobile area. Dr. Puto then fielded questions from the audience.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 pm.